Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Handmade Nativity

I was going to leave this blog until a bit closer to the festive season but after reading Nikki's ( blog about Handmade in Melbourne and on the urging of Peta ( I decided to blog about my hand made nativity while the inspiration was upon me.
Last year I was having difficulty locating a special Christmas gift for my friend Sonia. Usually by about August / September I have my pressies under control but with October beckoning I was still scouting around with frustration. In the past we have exchanged boxes of beautiful decorations and Christmas related stuff as we both appreciate a home decked with boughs of holly etc, but none of the available bling was giving me the signal that I needed to buy it.

On an unrelated visit to Winterwood I came across a doll making kit for the 3 kings in the nativity and so the handmade Nativity Christmas gift idea was born. The first item of business was to translate the instructions using google translate - yippee for the computer age! and once I'd got the gist of the making of the dolls the fun began. I made all of the heads for the dolls - 9 in total and then I was a bit freaked out and not sure that I could make the bodies and the clothes so I started to make the animals of the nativity - the easy part.

The 3 camels were followed by sheep and lambs, a donkey, and a bull (didn't have a pattern for an oxen), cow and calf. I was getting many a strange look from work colleagues as to what I was sewing and many questions as to the length of time this nativity was taking to make and comments that it would have been quicker and easier just to by one, and after a bit of explaining about the beauty and uniqueness of handmade gifts some got the idea ... and some didn't - but that's OK they will continue to be exposed to the handmade idea for many years to come and maybe it will eventually.

(Sorry photos are a bit dark - taken before blogging)

And then it was back to finishing off the people. Using cones for the body bases I made the clothes and put them on before sticking the head in place. This allowed me to poke the un-hemmed neck holes into the cone and not be seen, because by this stage the sewing machine and I were having a somewhat strained relationship - it would bite my finger / sew in the wrong place / in the wrong stitch etc and I would swear at it ... some of you would know the feeling.

By December 20th I had done all that I could and it was with much satisfaction, joy and some sadness (I had really come to love all of the things that I had made for the Nativity) I carefully wrapped each item.

First there were the Shepherds, sheep and lambs.

The Red King

The Blue King

The Green King

And finally Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.

This little Nativity is one of the best gifts I have given. It has been much appreciated and loved for the fact that it was made by hand with a specific intention to bring joy at Christmas.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adventures of a Winter Child

A while back I published a blog on the making of a Winter child. I had grand plans of following it up in the last week of winter with a story of what the Winter child had been up to in the past months. But a little holiday and illness have prevented me from posting until today - better late ... or something like that.

As the days grow shorter and there is a crispness to the air the winter children appear all rugged up and ready to explore the wonderful winter environment.

Going for walks on frosty winters mornings can yield many wonderful discoveries.

Frozen Puddles to look in

marvel at

and share with friends

that make us


A spiders web of spun silver waiting ...

A lantern walk on midwinter's eve to celebrate the shortest day and longest night and the magic that the world is turning with the season

An abundance of lemons remind us that a soothing honey and lemon drink can help with those pesky coughs and sniffles

and the wonder to discover that every snowflake is different - as unique as your own finger print

Hope you all had a wonderful winter and that the spring will bring just as much joy and wonder.

This little child was all packed up ready to be delivered to Hannah to continue a winter adventure in another home.